5 Actionable Tips to Safeguard Your Online Business in 2017
Starting an online venture is easy. The entrepreneur doesn’t need large office space, legal contracts and registration requirements are less stringent. Most importantly, if it doesn’t turn out to be a profit-making venture, he could call it a day anytime.
But even though beginning an online business and excelling in it are easy, safeguarding it is not so easy. Sure, it depends on the entrepreneur; if he follows the steps necessary to secure every aspect relating to his business, he can safeguard it.
Here are some of the steps that he needs to follow:
#1. Keeping business information secure
We are heading towards Internet-of-Everything (IoE) and the need for robust data security is at an all time high. Because Internet is public domain, keeping information secure there is a challenge. IPv6 devices aggravates this challenge. Currently, employees use homogeneous devices (unless the organization follows the BYOD policy) at the office premise, but in the future, device usage may diversify.
This may pose a challenge for information security experts and entrepreneurs alike. The steps listed below are highly recommended for them:
- Custom encryption software: Business information security is a delicate issue. Depending on FOSS encryption software may turn out to be a costly mistake, in the wake of unexpected data security breach.
- Limit access of information: In a company environment, information must not be freely available to everyone. Instead, it should be available only to those, who are key decision-makers. There are automated solutions to restrict the flow of information and to monitor outbound communication, information doesn’t leak.
- IPv6 security: To stay ahead in the game, install necessary IPv6 security measures such as automated ways to handle tunneling protocol risks, IPv6 supported devices, smooth migration from IPv4 to IPv6, etc.
Protecting classified business information is the first step of safeguarding your online venture. Make sure you aren’t failing at it.
#2. Protect business transactions
You cannot afford to be lenient here. You need to protect online business transactions at every cost. In the absence of high-end security, transactions are susceptible to hackers, who are good at siphoning off millions to their shoddy offshore accounts.
Follow these below-mentioned tips to ensure security for online transactions:
- Secure mobile apps: Business apps are used for digital transaction. Hackers target those apps because it’s easy to bypass their security arrangement. App capabilities are often unsafe and bugs and malware are pervasive. Only centralized and frequent app testing can keep hacking threats at bay.
- SSL certification: Free SSL certificates are not good on the security front. Paid security vendors have gained much traction as a result, moreover due to warranty that is provided along with the SSL certificate to cover potential losses. However, services like Letsencrypt offer highly secure free SSL/TLS Certificates. You can shop on your own for other free certificate providers, just make sure their certificate issuance and revocation process is state-of-the-art.
- Multi-layer protection: SSL is not enough to prevent digital transaction hacks. If the attack is on the application layer, SSL is ineffective. That’s why multi-layer protection is essential to secure business transactions.
- Round-the-clock monitoring apps: There are automated solutions that function as web application firewall. These solutions work round the clock and constantly update the way they work, leading to identification of the loopholes.
If digital transaction is ever compromised, it’d not only result in financial loss, but consumer’s trust will collapse. Hence, safeguarding digital transaction should be the priority of every online business.
#3. Network connectivity safety
Uninterrupted connectivity is a must for smooth organizational activities. Most enterprises these days use WiFi for connectivity needs. Cloud-based WiFi solutions enable them to cut down on operating cost. At the same time, they can offer free WiFi access to customers.
However, free access to enterprise WiFi can raise security concerns. The smart ways to safeguard network connectivity within the enterprise include:
- Router configuration by pros: You may want to configure the router by yourself. It may be tempting, but don’t go for it. Let a pro handle the configuration work. Professionals are well-aware of nitty-gritty of branded routers from Linksys, Netgear, Cisco, D-Link, etc.
- Keep a tab: While hiring a pro is a must, make sure he’s not working unsupervised. Keep a tab of everything he’s doing. Check if he’s used a unique password, ask him if he’s changed the SSID name of the network, whether he’s enabled WPA2 instead of WPA, etc.
- Learn hacking techniques: You should know what the bad guys are up to and what techniques they use for WiFi scanning. Their favorite scanning tools are InSSIDer for Windows and Kismet for Mac and Linux. They also use cutting-edge packet-sniffing tools. Safeguard your WiFi access point from these malware.
For a business, steady Internet connection is the lifeline. Hackers, malware and sometimes competing enterprises may sneak into your network to steal data. Prevent them at all cost.
#4. Customer privacy
The privacy of customer information is just as important as information related to your own business. People use their Smartphones to book movie tickets, purchase branded products, book cab rides, etc. The burden of keeping their information secure rests on respective retail merchants.
Steps every retailer must take for ensuring customer safety are:
- Keep phone numbers secret: Cloud-based number masking apps allow them to cloak customer’s phone numbers, even service personnels can customers up without knowing their numbers.
- Handling customer information: Identify the information handling capacity of your organization. B2B companies are in possession of less volume of consumer information compared to their B2C counterparts. If you are a retailer, make sure your organization can process a large volume of personal info from customers.
- Customer’s consent: Retailers often share customer information with third-parties. This is allowed only when they have prior consent from customers.
Companies often downplay the importance of consumer information. It’s a vital aspect of doing business online. Failure to safeguard customer information not only makes a company less trustworthy, but can also land them in legal troubles.
#5. Employee education
Finally, companies need to educate employees. Employees are often not aware about the risks on the online space. Many log in to social networks keeping other browser tabs open, which they use for official work.
This greatly amplifies the risk of sensitive enterprise information being compromised. The only way to keep such risks at bay is to raise awareness among employees. Hence, employers need to host webinars and workshops, so employees play their parts in safeguarding the business.
Data is at the heart of every online venture. Protecting data, therefore, is a priority for all enterprises. The tips discussed here helps them in this pursuit and accounts for overall safety of their online businesses.
William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media: web design! Currently, he is obsessed with the latest trends in e-commerce development, search engine optimization techniques, and social media analytics. He has been a regular contributor to leading online portals such as SEMrush, SmallBusinessTrends, SocialMediaToday etcRead Full Bio